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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Dream Lover

“The finest female genius of any country or age: “  Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“She beyond doubt or comparison the strongest woman and the most astonishingly gifted:”
Pianist and composer Franz Liszt

As a strong woman I would put her up there with Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth I and certainly not just because she often dressed in men clothes  ,  smoked cigars, wrote best selling books and captivated and scandalized her times.... History teacher and blogger Troutbirder

In her own words: “ When my submission has been claimed, no longer in the name of love and friendship but by reason of some right or power, I had drawn upon the strength that is buried in my nature. I have straightened by shoulders and thrown off the yoke. I alone know the latent force hidden within me. I alone know how much I grieve and suffer and love. “
George Sand


Elizabeth Berg’s new published historical novel The Dream Lover tells the remarkable story of George Sand.  The scenes alternate between Aurore Dupins childhood where her beloved father dies from an accident, her relationship with her mother, who is never accepted by her father’s stern and traditional mother, who educates her in the traditions of the aristocracy. It is a  loveless marriage which leads to being a mother and ultimately to her goal at age thirty of becoming a successful writer with a new name George Sand. She was a woman who struggled and often overcame the conventions and confines of women in  the time and place where she lived.

I think the highest praise I can give author Elizabeth Berg is to compare her to my favorite movie actress Meryl Streep, who is often praised as becoming Julia Childs or Margaret Thatcher etc. in her portrayals.  Wonderful prose and brilliant revealing insights made me think Elizabeth Berg WAS Aurore Dupins/George Sand and it doesn’t get any better than that….

My only criticism of this lush and fascinating novel is, naturally, lack of chronology. The story alternates between chapters of young Aurore Dupins childhood and early failed marriage and her life as famous author George Sand.

And just a little name dropping, you’ll meet my mom’s idol Frederic Chopin, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugene Delacroix and Victor Hugo along the way….:)


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@Barrie Summy


Barrie said...

Because of you Ray, one of my goals this summer is to read an historical. As I mentioned to you, I've enjoyed Elizabeth Berg's books in the past. She's a great writer! !Thank you for reviewing!

NCmountainwoman said...

I actually remember the day I found out that George Sand was a woman. And I was one of the few in my high school English class that did not moan about reading "Silas Marner." I'll definitely check out the book.

Sarah Laurence said...

This has been getting a lot of buzz lately and your review helps me to understand why. George Sand is a fascinating character. I read an Elizabeth Berg novel years ago and found it too sentimental for my taste, but perhaps I'd like this one better given the fascinating subject matter.

warriormom said...

I'm a bit dismayed to find I haven't read a novel by Elizabeth Berg. I have a file of clippings when she wrote for magazines in the late '80's/'90's. (I think they were clipped from Parents magazine) I'll have to check this one out, sounds like a good read.

Cloudbuster said...

This sounds delightful! I'm particularly interested in George Sands. What a fascinating life! Did you ever see the film Impromptu with Judy Davis as Sand and Hugh Grant as Chopin? It's a lot of fun... Great review!

Linda McLaughlin said...

This sounds like a good book. Georges Sand was a fascinating woman, though I think one commenter has her confused with George Elliot who wrote Silas Marner. I will have to think about this one, since I have the same issue you have with lack of chronology. That's okay as long as it isn't too confusing.

Anonymous said...

I hate lack of chronology, especially in my own life which is already confusing enough.

That's a nice review, though, alternating as it does not in time but between things that would help us make sense of the novel or decide whether or not we might think we'd be interested in it. Thanks!

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Crap. Just when I thought my summer reading list was complete. Need to add this one.

PC said...

I've been thinking of reading this one. Sounds like I should!

Ginnie said...

I was anxious to read this book because I've always enjoyed her writing; but, to be honest I found it difficult to get through. I made myself read it to the end but I got very bored with nothing but one affair after another ... even though it was based on Sand's life.